Hamburg High School upgraded its TV studio, featuring a new green screen.
“I’m excited. Just going to give it to you and say here, run, play,” said High School Principal Chris Spohn to TV studio students junior Sara Strausser and sophomore Grace Burns who checked out the upgrade prior to the start of the school year.
Spohn noted that the TV studio is student run.
“For the most part, they pick their content. They get to create, they get to work together as a team, they get to make mistakes. They get to be in control of building this product that’s called The Announcements,” said Spohn, who especially likes that the TV studio is student driven.
The upgrade enables students interested in participating in the TV studio the opportunity to do more than the seven-minute announcements.
“They can take the next step,” said Spohn.
The announcements will become more of a TV show using broadcast journalism skills and feature videos of sports and school activities.
“We’re going to bring in some lighting in the future so it looks like a real TV studio,” said Spohn. “Instead of making this a TV studio, you need to make this a multi-media studio. You guys will be our social media presence, posting videos up on the social media site, our web pages. This will become a hub of communication for our district.”
“That’s going to be a big team spirit builder,” said Burns.
“We hope so,” said Spohn. “This place should be humming.”
In the TV studio, desks were removed and the broadcasting equipment was moved from a corner to in front of a large wall that has been painted bright green to serve as the new green screen. There is also a large broadcasting table like seen on professional TV morning shows.
“I think it’s pretty awesome,” said Burns. “It’s a big upgrade from last year. I’m just so excited for this upcoming year to do this.”
Strausser said they’ve discussed staging a talk show setup for when they interview students for the TV show, such as students running for class officers, so they can sit and don’t have to stand like they did in the past.
“So it’ll be a Jimmy Fallon version of the Hawks Talent Time,” said Spohn.
“The news was the same thing everyday and people don’t want to watch it anymore so we talked about changing up some things instead of having the exact same thing all throughout,” said Strausser.
Strausser and Burns also talked about creating a theme song as an intro.
Submitted announcements will also be due the day before so that the TV studio students can organize to create the follow morning’s show.
Strausser said they also want to hook up the teleprompter.
“This stuff is all designed to be portable,” said Spohn. “My ultimate dream is you will be doing a live broadcast via the Internet of an event whether it’s a musical or sports. You can bring it back, you quick edit it up and the next morning ‘Here’s our highlights from last night’s game or last night’s concert.’”
Junior Samantha Smith, also checking out the upgrade with Burns and Strausser, does not participate in TV studio but sees the upgrade as a benefit to all Hamburg students outside the TV studio program.
“Students who are doing something for another class like when you have to make videos for Spanish... it will immediately give them a space that is already motivating for them to make something and they can get help from someone who knows how to use the programs,” said Smith.
“That’s huge. The library is changing from a place where we use to archive our knowledge to a place where we create knowledge,” said Spohn.
The TV studio is located in a room off of the high school library. Spohn hopes that 7th and 8th periods will be set aside for TV studio students to work on the following morning’s show. Strausser said they have a lot of freshmen to train, too. Being student driven, students train each other while a teacher monitors the program.
“There will be experts here,” said Spohn, referring to the students. “This becomes a place where you create that knowledge.”